Mon 7 Nov 2011
I love carving pumpkins! For Halloween this year, I made a spider of Godzilla proportions, looming over an unexpecting city.
Myself, Mr and the Godzilla Spider all hope that you had a lovely Halloween!
To go with the Halloween theme I’ve got a recipe for a pilaf full of autumn flavors; mushrooms and cranberries come together with foresty earthiness and tart astringency to make for some really really yummy rice. Normally, rice is a little bit of a take it or leave it food for me but I very much enjoyed this dish. And anyways, rice is the perfect food for when you want to eat a thousand or so of something.
Mushroom Cranberry Pilaf
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb mixed mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini and button mushrooms)
salt and pepper
1 Cup water
1 3/4 Cups beef stock
1 1/2 Cups Basmati rice
3/4 Cup dried cranberries
Find a medium saucepan that has a lid. In it, melt the butter and add to it the chopped onion. Stir occasionally, and once the onion has started to brown, add the chopped mushrooms and a dash of salt and pepper. The point of this process is to develop lots of caramelized brown flavors, so let the mushrooms and onion go for a little while. Spoon the mushroom and onion mixture into a bowl, and set aside.
Turn the heat up to high, and add both the water and beef stock. When it comes to a boil, tip in the rice, swirling it around with a spoon in order to get it evenly wet. Clamp on the lid, and turn the heat to low. Give the rice 20 minutes to steam, and don’t peek under the lid until the full 20 minutes has passed.
Fork through the rice to break up any clumps, and then add back the reserved mushrooms and onion, as well as the cranberries. Serve immediately.
I learned the steaming method of making rice from my Mum, who makes my most favorite rice. Twenty minutes seems to be just the right amount of time, but if you peek to see how its going in there the rice just doesn’t come out right. So no peeking! You just have to trust it to do its magic.
We’ve already been through how much I enjoy salty-sweet combinations, what with the kettle corn and the cheddar apple English toasts, and I think that is a part of what I like so much about this rice. At the same time, though, I really enjoyed the interplay of the complexity of the savory browned flavors against the clean clear flavor of the cranberries.
Mr says: more cranberries would make the rice even better.
This time last year: Pumpkin Seeds